There are five main types of cough:
1. Loose or productive cough: You can hear mucus in Baby’s airways and Baby coughs or vomits up mucus.
2. Dry or non-productive cough: Baby coughs up very little or no mucus and you can’t hear mucus in the airways, although he may sound very nasal.
3. Tight cough: A tight cough sounds painful, and is often accompanied by dry retching, and extreme tiredness. The child’s chest pulls inwards during a coughing episode.
4. Irritation cough: This cough is mostly caused by a postnasal drip, and originates from a constant clearing of the throat.
5. Spasmodic cough: This cough comes in spasms, and then is absent for some time. There could be a chest infection or lower airway condition, and coughing seems painful.
Causes Of Cough
A cough is caused either by an irritation of the airways, or in an attempt to get something out of the throat or chest. Think about these links:
• Excess mucus: You can help prevent this by avoiding dietary triggers of mucus, such as dairy and grain products and foods with preservatives, colourants and flavour enhancers.
• Smoking: Babies born to parents who smoke will be far more prone to allergies and respiratory problems. Smoking outside the house helps, but is not a cure.
• Respiratory infections and diseases: Conditions like bronchitis, bronchiolitis, croup, flu, asthma and whooping cough all require specific treatment.
• Climate: Dry, cold seasons make some babies more prone, whereas a humid climate affects others.
• Daycare: Young children and babies in crèches are more prone to falling ill.
Home Treatment Of Cough
If your child has a cough, prop him up to ease breathing and make sure the room is well ventilated. Give him plenty of cuddles, and try these tips:
• Homeopathic remedies for mucus are helpful for all types of cough.
• To open up the airways, run a humidifier with a few drops of eucalyptus oil at night, or add a few drops of eucalyptus oil under the hot water tap when running baby’s bath.
• Try to avoid allergic triggers.
• Add a capful to Friar’s balsam to a basin of boiling water, drape a towel over your child’s head and encourage him to breathe these vapours in, but to take care not to burn.
• Apply vaporising gel to Baby’s chest and throat, or onto a vest if Baby’s skin reacts with a rash, to help relieve a tight cough at night.
When To See The Doctor
Take your little one to see the doctor if he:
• Doesn’t improve with the above tips, or the cough becomes more serious
• Goes blue or pale around the lips and fingernails
• Has difficulty breathing
• Looks distressed when breathing or coughing
• Vomits after coughing